Have you thought about building brand equity? What exactly is brand equity? Business equity is the value of your assets after deducting your business’s liabilities, and it’s the byproduct of assets minus liabilities. BRAND equity is a marketing term that describes a brand’s value.So, what is brand equity in marketing? Now is the time if you have focused on your business equity but haven’t given your brand equity much attention. One way to start the thought process is to think about your customers. What is their experience when they do business with you? Do they have a positive experience? Is your website or the way your company operates confusing? Are you doing damage control, or do you feel the customer positively perceives your brand? Brand equity is what I just described. It is your brand’s value.Did you know that when your customers rave to others about you, write positive reviews, and return to reorder, you build your brand’s equity? Your brand’s success is directly related to how your customers perceive you and how they feel about you. Having positive brand equity spills over into the rest of your business. No longer are customers looking for the ‘lowest price .’They are willing to spend a little more to partner with a quality company and its team. You no longer have to spend so much on marketing- your customers are spreading the word for you! Your 5 star and positive online reviews are growing organically, and you aren’t working so hard to keep customers- they can’t imagine going elsewhere!
Does Brand Equity Matter?
The short answer is: yes. But I bet you already knew I would say that since I’m dedicating an entire blog post to the matter. Don’t ignore the benefits of brand equity. You’ll be sorry if you do. When you focus on Brand Equity, you’ll be working smarter, not harder- and your customers will be less likely to nickel and dime you on your pricing. Prospects will be eager to do business with you because they will recognize your brand and desire it, which leads to more sales and better profits. You’ll have a more outstanding market share too. I can’t think of a better way to crush the competition and grow into new markets!
Committed customers are not a magical pie in the sky unicorn idea. You can have all of it when you build your brand’s equity.So, the long answer above is yes, building brand equity matters! When people seek you out because your brand is what they want over the competition, they will go out of their way to do business with you- even if it means spending a little more. Do you see how your customer base will become more extensive and loyal, and your business’s bottom line will grow because you focus on your brand’s equity.
What About Brand Credibility?
Have you ever heard of brand credibility? Brand credibility plays an essential role in building brand equity. People will generally buy a brand they trust over the next big new thing. Trust is much more important than trends. People are wary of being tricked, overcharged, unable to return a product, or product defects/dupes. So building a credible brand people trust is very important!How do you know when you’ve built sufficient brand credibility? When you can use the customer’s perception of trust to help you grow your business to the next level. This means customers come back for repeat orders, you can predict sales over time, and when you can increase your price without complaints. (NOTE: the increasing cost is not something you must do. Some companies add in a premium service or product in addition to the standards offerings- this is just an idea to help facilitate the process).
Extra, Extra, Read All About It!
Step back and think about how your customers and prospects see you. Where are people talking about your brand? Are there multiple sources raving and sharing your brand? Are you in a positive light? Are there press releases, blog posts, and social media influencers creating a buzz about your brand? Even if it is not a direct endorsement, your brand needs to be in the ‘press .’When you are associated with various sources, you achieve brand positivity.
Creating Your Buzz
You want to be seen and talked about but don’t know where to start. There is no need to sit on the sidelines and wait for the right source to come along- especially in 2022. A great way to connect your brand to publications is to make your content. Use the internet to your advantage and connect with your customers and prospects. Be the expert in your own space! I tell my team all the time that they must be the expert. Content can be shared at your own pace and helps you get ‘found’ on the internet but precisely who you want to find you. So how do you create content and buzz in your space and get perceived as the expert? You can start a blog or become a guest blogger on other people’s blogs. You can host webinars, publish customer reviews and testimonials, issue a press release, and share it on your social media. You can be a guest on a podcast or regularly go ‘live’ on social media avenues and communicate among your network.Do you see how creating content will help you build your brand equity while also helping you connect with your prospects and market? Want to stand out among competitors, and building brand equity and connection will separate you from the herd!
Putting Your Brand Values Front & Center
Does your brand live by any values? If you wanted others to know the real YOU, what beliefs would be front & center? Some brands want to be known as the company that ships super quick & efficient (Amazon) or that has an easy and painless return policy (Zappos), or that has the most delicious, consistent coffee (Starbucks) or the most affordable products (Walmart). The brand has a promise to its customers and doesn’t break the contract. This is what puts the brand’s values front and center. Once a brand establishes its values, the customer counts on these values and trusts that they are consistent. Suppose your brand breaks the trust- it is over. Ensure that your brand aligns within itself, from the messaging to the values. This is crucial for building brand equity.
Let Go of Ego
One big mistake I see happening with building brand equity is the company’s ego. The company (i.e., owners and team members) must be willing to listen to the customers. From the buzz, they are generating constructive criticism to complaints. The messaging coming IN is just as important as the messaging you put out. Don’t let your ego get in building a better brand. Reply to reviews with the mind reader. Respond to emails and social media inquiries in a timely and respectful manner. If there’s a buzz about your brand, be present and gracious and let others know you listen. This is known as reputation management, and it plays a vital role in the brand equity department.
Decide On Your Brand’s Identity
Now is a great time to brainstorm with your sales team, business partners, and anyone else you trust within the company. Answer questions like “Who are we as a company?” “What do we stand for/ What are our values?” “What do we do better than anyone else in the industry?” and Why should and will people choose us over the competition.When you answer these questions, some others might come up. That’s okay. Your brand’s identity will set the bar for your customers and prospects, and it’s the lifeblood of your brand equity. Make sure everyone within the company is on the same page with the brand’s identity.
Be Customer Focused
Becoming customer-minded is key for Brand Equity. How do you want the customer experience to be? What do you want the customer to think, feel, and expect? Think of ways to communicate with your customers and also your prospects. Will you use social media influencers, blogging, video, or a mixture of the above? How will you stay consistent, so the customer and candidates receive the same consistent message? How will you build brand awareness?
Connect with Customers
When you know your brand’s identity and are customer-focused, your customers will start to have a relationship with you. As I mentioned above, connecting with customers is how you build and keep trust. Allow your customers to interact with you and connect with you. Successful brands constantly connect with customers by listening to feedback and generating conversation around the brand. How else will you know what your customers are thinking and how they feel about you? You won’t get blindsided, and you’ll be known as a transparent, trustworthy brand. A good brand is a two-way street, and you allow room for the relationship to build and grow with the customer.
Brand Equity is an intricate part of building a business. If you ignore it, it won’t be long before you lose customers and insight within the company. You want to gain a loyal following on the path of least resistance. Brand Equity is the answer. Would you like to discuss more? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Building Brand Equity is a vital strategy in business. I hope I have inspired you to take a conscious look at your company’s brand. It might feel a little overwhelming at first, but you can make a change today! Start building Brand Equity TODAY!